Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Walk Of Life

~Nancy Goring

   While walking the track at the community center today, I started noticing the various "walkers/runners." They were all different in age, gender, weight and health. One couple, in particular really impressed me. They were a couple about 80 years old and moving very slowly. The lady had looped her arm through her husbands to help support him, as he was having difficulty even ta...king small steps. It was so sweet to see how she supported him so carefully, never trying to make him move faster, always being patient with him.

     I also saw young people running as fast as they could, others jogging at a regular pace and some fast walkers at various speeds. Like most tracks, there are 3 lanes; the inside is for slower folks, the middle for fast, and the outside lane for runners. I couldn't help but think how much our Christian lives paralleled the scenes unfolding before me. 

     There were little ones who ran fast, then walked, then skipped around, not really sure what they should be doing, but having fun anyway. They weren't aware of the "rules" yet, but they watched and picked up very quickly. I thought about those who began their Christians walk - eager, excited, unsure, happy, learning to follow the lead of those who were older and more experienced. Then there were the ones who had been doing this for many years. They were steady, consistent, always watching before they changed lanes so they wouldn't interfere with other walkers - courteous, well-balanced, well-paced, experienced. Most of the older people were in the slower lane, some doing better than others because they were just trying to stay healthy by walking consistently.
Then there were the ones who walked 3 abreast, talking, having fun, paying no attention whether someone was approaching from behind that might run into them or that they may cause to get off course or lose balance. Their strides were slow then fast - they wandered all over the track, oblivious to their surroundings. On a rare occasion there would be one who was irritated with the talkers and would be rude to them, almost pushing them out of the way because they were a nuisance to their workout. There is no need for me to make a spiritual comparison here - I will let you do that.

     The walk at the track is so much like our walk in life as a Christian. I was so impressed with the older folks who kept on keeping on, though it was at a much slower pace. That encouraged me to keep exercising even when I feel tired, ache, and want to stop, even for just a little bit.
My doctor told me I needed to walk for my health, so I set goals, at his instruction, to keep me on task. Our heavenly Father has also told us what we need to do to stay spiritually strong. He also provided the goal! Are we following His instructions? Are we studying daily for our spiritual strength? Are we serving as we should? Are we assisting others on the pathway if they need us to loop our arm through theirs to help them/support them when they are weak? Are we being a consistent example of Christ-like behavior in our daily walk? Hopefully we are not wandering around, oblivious to all that is about us that might harm us spiritually, or perhaps another!
We have a goal that was given to us. It is heaven. The apostle Paul said, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," (Philippians 3:14). Let us "run with patience, that race that is set before us," as the Hebrew writer said in Hebrews 12:1. Let's all strive for strength, patience, consistency, and balance as we walk His walk, always keeping the end goal in sight.
Nancy is the wife of Bill Goring, who serves as a gospel preacher and elder for the Chipman Road church of Christ in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has 4 children, 11 grandchildren and has taught Bible class for over 40 years, speaks at Ladies Day gatherings and has published several books including: Behavior Becoming Holiness: Studies in Titus Chapter 2 and Overcoming our Self-Imposed Prisons.

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